Game 7 of the 2016 World Series was historic on the field — the Chicago Cubs won their first title in 108 years — and on TV, as it produced the most-watched major league game in a quarter century.

FOX’s coverage of the game, which the Cubs won, 8-7, in 10 innings over the Cleveland Indians, drew an average audience of 40.05 million viewers. That’s the biggest audience for any baseball game on TV since Game 7 of the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves, which drew 50.3 million people in a far less fragmented TV universe.

It’s also the biggest audience for anything on TV since the Super Bowl in February, surpassing the Oscars (34.43 million), the most-watched night of the Summer Olympics (33.4 million) and Game 7 of the NBA Finals (31.02 million).

The World Series has gone to seven games five times since 1991. Prior to Wednesday night, the biggest audience of those was 39 million for Game 7 between the Yankees and Diamondbacks in 2001.

The Cubs-Indians series averaged 22.85 million viewers overall, the highest since 2004 when the Boston Red Sox broke their 86-year string without a championship. That four-game series averaged 25.39 million viewers.

Game 7 drew Super Bowl-esque local ratings in Chicago and Cleveland. The metered-market household rating in Chicago was 51.2/71, while in Cleveland it was 48.6/69, meaning more than two-thirds of homes watching TV in both cities were tuned into the game.

The game drew a 12.6 rating in adults 18-49, meaning roughly 16.1 million people in the demographic were tuned in. That also tops Game 7 of the NBA Finals (11.3), Oscars (10.5) and the best night of the Summer Olympics (10.0).

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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    […] from Wednesday’s preliminary ratings, finishing with a 12.6. The Cubs’ victory had the biggest audience for baseball on TV in 25 […]

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